Supporting youth through contemporary dance

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Students from Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae are performing contemporary dance with students from St. Kentigern College and the Auckland Performance Orchestra for the Auckland Dance Project 2018.

Manawa by Moss Patterson (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) from TOHU Dance Theatre is being performed as part of the Kiwi Kapers concert for intermediate and primary schools.

"This is for these dancers to realise their potential and know the supreme power within them," says artistic director and choreographer Moss Patterson.

Manawa weaves together contemporary dance and traditional movement from kapa haka.

Matai Nikora (Ngāti Porou) is a senior at Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae.  He says, “I wanted to do something physically active and something challenging. I'm a keen league player- and other activities.  This is different for me and it's new for all of us.”

The performance brings together two different groups of young artists from different regions and cultures of Auckland.

Parehuia Afeaki (Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Rarawa) is also a senior student at Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae.  She says it’s about “facilitating interaction between the two cultures, from Māori and Pākehā backgrounds from the two schools.”

Music by renowned composer Tchaikovsky serves as a soundtrack, as performed by the Auckland Performance Orchestra.

“The strategy is to gather the experienced musicians and dancers to empower the youth to stand strong on stage,” says Patterson.

The final two performances will be on Monday at the Vodafone events centre.